#1 The NHL has a protocol that needs to be followed von Cl11234566 13.11.2019 04:19

SPIELBERG, Austria -- Red Bulls hopes for a triumph on its home circuit were dampened Friday as Mercedes regained its dominance in Formula One, clearly setting the pace on the opening day of practice for the Austrian Grand Prix. With Daniel Ricciardos maiden victory in Canada two weeks ago, Red Bull ended a six-race winning streak by Mercedes but the Australian driver and his teammate Sebastian Vettel did not come close to matching their rivals speed on the Red Bull Ring. Lewis Hamilton beat teammate Nico Rosberg to the fastest time in the second practice. Hamilton completed his best lap on the 4.3-kilometre (2.7-mile) track in 1 minute, 9.542 seconds, topping Rosberg by 0.377. Ferraris Fernando Alonso was almost a second off the lead in third. Vettel came sixth, more than 1.4 seconds behind Hamilton, while Ricciardo posted the eighth fastest time. Mercedes also came 1-2 in the opening practice, with Rosberg beating Hamilton by 0.140. "Its so close between the two of us," Rosberg said about the fight with Hamilton for pole position. "Im hoping we will still have the edge on everybody else. That seems to be the case today." However, Hamilton said he wouldnt mind if Rosberg started in front of him on Sunday. "Hunting definitely brings out the better side," the 2008 F1 champion said. "When you are in front, you feel vulnerable and any mistake you make you are going to be caught." In the morning session, Ricciardo and Vettel came only 13th and 15th respectively. "We clearly did better in the afternoon," Vettel said. "We are not there where we want to be when it comes to speed ... but it will be warmer on Saturday and Sunday and I think that will bring us closer." In the first session, Vettel brought his car back to the garage undamaged following a spectacular incident in the final turn. He came off the track and spun twice on the grass before the car came to a standstill on the track again. "That wasnt planned of course," the four-time champion said. "I went too wide and the wet grass was slippery." Ricciardo also spun on the same spot shortly afterward, prompting team boss Christian Horner to joke "they were just warming up the crowd." "We are trying to find out the limit, and both just came on the grass," said Horner, adding the track was still lacking grip during the first session. "There was also a little bit of rain in the air. Thankfully everything is fine." Rosberg quit his first practice after 19 laps with a minor problem to his hybrid engine, enabling his technicians to fix the problem in time for the afternoons session. The German, however, couldnt keep up with Hamilton this time and didnt hide his anger as he was unaware over engine tests his team was applying on his car toward the end of the second session. "I was suddenly losing power and asked over the radio what was happening," Rosberg said. "Only then they told me they had changed my engine settings." Rosberg leads Hamilton in the drivers standings by 140-118 points going into Sundays race, the first GP in Austria since 2003. Most of the 22 drivers knew the track only from computer simulation. Alonso is one of just four drivers who raced on the track before, alongside McLarens Jenson Button, Ferraris Kimi Raikkonen and Williams Felipe Massa. The track is one of the shortest on the F1 calendar and features fast straights and only nine turns. Weather conditions could become an issue in the race as strong winds in the second practice Friday caused several drivers problems, especially on the third and eighth turns. The second session was considerably faster than the first as temperatures went up and teams were able to test their so-called supersoft tires, which helped cut lap times by approximately 0.6 seconds. The third practice is scheduled for Saturday, followed by the qualifying. 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Rookie Christian Vazquez got his first three major league hits and drove in three runs, while David Ortiz had three RBIs to break open the game in the sixth inning and lead Boston over the Houston Astros 8-3.While the Montreal Canadiens made an incredible run to the Eastern Conference Final in his second season as general manager, Marc Bergevin isnt ready to label his team as contenders just yet. Bergevin held court with the media in his end-of-season news conference on Monday, saying theres still plenty to do to make the Habs a championship-calibre club. "I thought our young players learned a lot," he said. "What they learned over the last 17 playoff games is something you cant buy. Were a good team with a young core, but were not a mature team yet. Im happy with our season, but theres still work to do. "Next year, we go back to the same starting line with everybody else. Our first goal will be to make the playoffs and, once youre in, anythings possible. Maybe one day down the road well be a mature team but were not there yet." The No. 1 question posed to Bergevin was the contract status of star defenceman P.K. Subban, who becomes a restricted free agent with arbitration rights on July 1. Subban, who signed a two-year bridge contract after the 2012-13 lockout, captured the Norris Trophy as the NHLs top blueliner last year, was named to the Canadian mens Olympic team that won gold in Sochi in February and was among their top players in the postseason. While many speculate that Subban could pull in an eight-year contract worth $8 million to $9 million a season, Bergevin wasnt showing his hand on anything regarding negotiations. "Contract talks are strategic," he explained, reminding reporters that his policy is to never divulge contract updates in public. "I cant give you a timeline on when itll get done." Bergevin, did however, mention he would like to retain pending UFA Brian Gionta, whos been captain for the last four seasons. "Well see what we can do to bring him back," he said, adding that others have stepped up as leaders as well. "(Josh) Gorges is a really good leader. Carey, P.K., and Patch are taking that role. We have a lot of young leaders who will help moving forward. A guy like Plekanec might not be a player who talks a lot, but by his play and the way he competes, hes a leader." Bergevin also said that heaad coach Michel Therrien, who has a year left on his contract, will be back - likely with an extension.dddddddddddd Therrien raised plenty of eyebrows using third-string goalie Dustin Tokarski over backup Peter Budaj in the conference final after starting netminder Carey Price was injured. There will be plenty of speculation about what the team may do with both goaltenders this summer. "I know him personally," Bergevin said of Budaj. "Hes a great man, loved by his teammates. And through this whole thing he was very positive. Michel had a hunch to put (Tokarski) in for the second game and he gave us a chance to win. Internally well discuss it, but its a nice problem to have." The Canadiens GM was also satisfied this season with the development of young blueliners Nathan Beaulieu, Jarred Tinordi and Greg Pateryn, the first two playing short stints with the NHL club. "I think the day they become everyday players with the Canadiens will be sooner rather than later," he said. "Do I want them to play in NHL next season - yes. "I want some internal competition at camp (next season)." Bergevin also defended the much-criticized handling of the concussion suffered by forward Dale Weise in Game 5 of the conference final. Weise was wobbly and went to the dressing room after a blindside hit by New Yorks John Moore, but returned later in the game. Weise did not play in Game 6 due to what Therrien would only call a "body injury." It appeared the team let Weise back out on the ice even if it looked obvious he had his brain rattled by the hit. Bergevin said the team didnt find out until the next day that Weise had a concussion and was satisfied that he was properly examined according to the league rules before being allowed to return. "The NHL has a protocol that needs to be followed," he said. "If the player says hes OK and the test says hes OK, then hes OK. Players have a list of things they need to do before they can return to play and he passed with flying colours. "Its flawed, but Im not a doctor. We all worry about our players, but we can only go by what were given." - with CP files ' ' '

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